Crime Statistic Narrative
We've left our message from December '96 and January '97 here for a reason. Violent crimes were down throughout California and even "parts" of Sacramento. Unfortunately, midtown experienced an increase in crime overall while seeing reductions in police resources. From the looks of the Police Department's homepage crime analysis stats, it looks like the trend is repeating and in our area, many crimes are indeed up over the past several months.
Reduction in officer strength means it's difficult to respond to critical incidents that occurred in a short time frame, city wide. Officers often complain that they have no backup or cover when responding to pending calls. We've played the tapes to City Council that demonstrate this FACT and if you have a sound card, you can hear it for yourself.
THE NUMBER OF SWORN OFFICERS IN OUR CITY CONTINUES
"CODE 12" CALLS, (NO POLICE UNITS AVAILABLE) ARE
ON THE RISE!
KEEPING FOCUS - The "Thin Blue Line" grows thinner as violent crime increases!
Our Attorney General points to the reason for California's continuing drop in crime. "Long Beach officials attributed the improvements to several factors: the hiring of 150 more police officers, community policing, high-profile arrest sweeps and an extremely active Neighborhood Watch program."
Did we hire officers? Sacramento used it's "Golden Handshake" to retire 38 experienced officers. They even planned to cut 25 more to the "budget crisis". (But we have money to expand City Hall and a park across the street and a million dollar porch for city hall? Our "Community Police" are too few in number and are pulled off the streets to back fill in patrol duties because we haven't enough officers to field on any given shift. Here's a fact to consider: On any given grave yard shift in Sector 1 - Covering Watt Ave to Sacramento River (East/West), American River to Business 80 (North/South) there are as few as seven police units working the street. (28 city-wide) (See the above Code 12 calls for why that's a critical concern for public safety)
"Active Neighborhood Watch" - It took a partnership with the District Attorney and the community to do a "high profile" sweep on graffiti after CCW's initial arrests of the first serial crews in the city. We spent thousands of PRIVATE dollars in collecting photo evidence the police we unable to. Our payback? To be accused of operating a security patrol "service" without a license. We WILL NOT BOW TO PRESSURE TO QUIT! Safe Streets fell apart when paychecks stopped. Our lives are our paycheck! Now we have to do something to force serial muggers and robbers to look elsewhere for victims. Neighborhood Watch? Yes it works! In spite of the opposition by those who should support us the most! Can you see why we feel Community Watch is a MUST to aid our police while we campaign for more cops on the beat?
The loss of 50+ sworn officers in our city in 1997, when we were short 150 or more just to be on par with other cities in California, is an issue that requires constant public review. Now, in 1998, we see the expected results of the "Golden Handshake" and it has been felt by far too many victims. Experts tell us, as the number of officers decline, an expected increase in crime results. The numbers we've posted have been validated by local media, not with front page news, but in print just the same.
The issue here was to be the "Status Quo" not personalities or politics. Our facts had not been given the light of day until recently. See our comments from last year in: "Diana Griego Erwin: To combat crime, employ more cops"
Compare them to recent news headlines: "Violent Crime Rises in Capital"
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